Health Department of Northwest Michigan

Emergency Preparedness

The Health Department's Emergency Preparedness Program is responsible for the development of protocols, policies, and plans associated with protecting the health of our district's residents and visitors from natural, chemical, biological and radiological threats.

Together with community partners, the Health Department is working to:
  • Assure individuals and their families in our community are prepared for an emergency.
  • Assure that there is timely identification and response to public health emergencies.
  • Assure that a competent public health, health care and emergency response workforce exists in our region.
  • Assure that health department policies support an effective and coordinated response to an emergency.
  • Assure that State, regional and local community partnerships are mobilized to promptly identify problems, to coordinate a response to emergencies and assure adequate health care, vaccinations, and medications are available for affected individuals.
For more information, please contact the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at (231) 547-6523, or send an email to

Public Health and Medical Preparedness: A Decade of Achievement in Michigan [External Link]
Are You Ready: How to Get Ready for an Emergency at Work [PDF File]
Are You Ready: Preparing for Disasters at School - Tips for Parents [PDF File]
Are You Ready: Preparedness Tips for Older Adults and Caregivers [PDF File]
CDC Emergency Preparedness Guide for Older Adults [PDF File]
Are You Ready: Preparing for Emergencies - Tips for Pregnant Women and New Moms [PDF File]
Are You Ready: Preparing Your Child for Emergencies [PDF File]
Are You Ready: Keeping Food and Water Safe in an Emergency [PDF File]
Are You Ready: How to Get Ready for a Power Outage [PDF File]
Are You Ready: Get Ready Tips forKids - How You Can Stay Safe in an Emergency [PDF File]
Anthrax [External Link]
Smallpox [External Link]
Plague [External Link]
Botulism [External Link]
Ricin [External Link]
Family Preparedness Guide ( [External Link]
Preparing for a Public Health Emergency: What You Need to Know [PDF File]
Pandemic Flu and You [External Link]

Information for Public Schools:
School Pandemic Workshop FAQ [PDF File] (69kb)

Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteers are needed with all skill levels and experiences to help in the event of a public health emergency. One role of local public health is to respond to emergencies that can pose a threat to the health of the community. Public health emergencies may include large outbreaks of a contagious disease like influenza, bioterrorism incidents like a chemical attack, and natural disasters like tornadoes. In the event of a large emergency, local public health may not have enough staff to respond alone. Services that volunteers can provide are crucial to the successful response to an emergency.

Depending on the emergency, volunteers will be needed to perform a variety of different jobs. Some require little training, and others require an active healthcare professional license. Jobs may range from clerical, (like handing out and assisting with forms), data entry, security, to professional tasks for nurses, (vaccinator) physicians (health screening) or mental health workers (counseling).

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan uses volunteers from community agencies including American Red Cross, and RSVP of Charlevoix and Emmet counties,
Michigan Volunteer Registry

This program allows volunteers to be listed in a state database, to be contacted in the event of an emergency. Through this registry, volunteers may also have the opportunity to participate in trainings and emergency preparedness exercises.

Links of Interest

Safeguard Your Neighborhood
Michigan Prepares
MDCH Office of Public Health Preparedness
CDC Emergency Prepredness and Response
Emergency Preparedness in Michigan
US Department of Homeland Security
Ready America
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